KC in the Afternoon

KC in the Afternoon

Weekdays from 3pm to 7pm

This weekend, the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh will play host to a night of hard-hitting wrestling action. That’s right, it’s time for WWE Payback! And with that I’d like to use this opportunity to make up for my less-than-stellar predictions for SummerSlam last month. Since then I vowed to study more tape, analyze every segment, say my prayers, eat my vitamins, whatever it took to get the next show right. Well now is the time, and I’m ready to go 6-0 tomorrow night!

One of the matches I’m looking forward to most has to be the World Heavyweight Championship bout between Shinsuke Nakamura and the defending champ Seth “Freakin” Rollins. Nakamura seems to have grown a bit more of an edge to him since blindsiding Rollins a month ago. He’s already pointed out how he plans to exploit Rollins’ longstanding back injuries in his favor. Will the champ have a gameplan to thwart Nakamura’s attempt to usurp his reign?

Payback will also feature two matches that many believe should’ve been on the SummerSlam card were it not for timing conflicts. After a vicious feud spanning across much of 2023, Becky Lynch will finally get her hands on her former friend Trish Stratus, and the fighting will be done inside a steel cage! And from Monday Night Raw, Rhea Ripley of Judgment Day will defend her Women’s World Championship against Raquel Rodriguez. Rhea has run roughshod over every opponent put in front of her since winning the title at WrestleMania, but if anyone has a chance at standing toe-to-toe with Mami, it’s gotta be Raquel.

I won’t lie, the WWE Payback card feels a lot more straightforward and low stakes than SummerSlam’s did. Save for a couple matches that I’ll get into, I feel extremely confident about my predictions. I expect to do a clean sweep this weekend and restore my good name among the wrestling nerd community. Let’s get into it!

  • Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn (C) vs. The Judgment Day - Steel City Street Fight for the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship

    My pick: Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn

    Look, I’m a huge fan of everyone in the Judgment Day. I want so badly for Finn Balor to finally get some championship gold around his waist. But I don’t think that’ll happen this weekend. Sami and KO have been on a tear since Kevin returned from injury, and they’re definitely the more cohesive of the two teams. Weeks of miscommunication within the Judgment Day have left Balor on the short end of the stick more often than not, and I think that will come back to bite them once again in Pittsburgh.

  • LA Knight vs. The Miz

    My pick: LA Knight

    This feud, for as short as it’s been, has been thoroughly entertaining from these two masters of the mic. Miz and Knight complement each other so well, but after doing spot-on impressions of each other in the past week, where else does this feud go? I don’t see it lasting longer than a single PPV event, and LA Knight’s stock continues to soar amongst the WWE universe. And Knight did help me secure one of my only wins on my SummerSlam prediction thread. Do I think his momentum will continue this weekend with a win over the A-Lister? YEAH!

  • Rey Mysterio (C) vs. Austin Theory - United States Championship Match

    My pick: Austin Theory

    This might be my most controversial pick, but hear me out. I think the powers that be may be swerving us with this match. Theory originally tried to weasel out of defending his US title against Santos Escobar by injuring him before their match, only to have the legendary Rey Mysterio sub in and win the championship for himself. What if Santos interferes in their match tomorrow by turning on Rey, thereby allowing Theory to pick up the win and reclaim his United States Championship? Stranger things have happened in WWE!

  • Rhea Ripley (C) vs. Raquel Rodriguez - Women's World Championship Match

    My pick: Rhea Ripley

    These two have been on a warpath in the lead up to Payback, which I believe will culminate in a hard-hitting slug fest that could be a match-of-the-night contender. Raquel is looking for vengeance against The Nightmare Rhea Ripley ever since the Women’s Champion injured Raquel’s tag team partner and best friend Liv Morgan. She’ll put up one hell of a fight tomorrow night, but will she get full payback in the form of the Women’s World Championship? I don’t think so. Rhea is in a league of her own now and is arguably the most successful member of Judgment Day. That doesn’t change at Payback.

  • Becky Lynch vs. Trish Stratus - Steel Cage Match

    My pick: Becky Lynch

    It only makes sense that the Steel City gets a steel cage match between two megastars. Becky has proven to have the Stratus’ number at almost every turn, managing to thwart the WWE Hall of Famer and her lacky Zoey Stark on the way to their match this Saturday. And given how many ways there are to win a steel cage match (pin, submission, or escaping the cage through the door or climbing out the top), I think Becky will again find a way to slip through victorious.

  • Seth Rollins (C) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura - World Heavyweight Championship Match

    My pick: Seth “Freakin” Rollins

    If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s to never EVER bet against Seth. He’s been on a roll racking up PPV wins even before becoming World Heavyweight Champion earlier this year. There is a bit of concern over Nakamura’s exploitation of Seth’s long history of back injuries. That will certainly play a factor as they collide for Raw’s top prize, but Rollins is just built different. Expect a wonderfully fast-paced match that will see Seth Rollins with his hand raised yet again.

  • How To Watch

    You can watch WWE Payback Saturday, September 2, 8 p.m. ET, only on Peacock!

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